Americans now consider Serena Williams the greatest tennis player ever and the fourth greatest athlete of all time, beating out Peyton Manning, Joe Montana and LeBron James in the latter category, according to a new Harris Poll.
The poll, which surveyed several thousand people online between September 9 and September 17, 2015, was once again headlined by Michael Jordan, who grabbed the No. 1 slot, with Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali rounding out the top three. Owning the No. 4 spot, however, was Williams, the only woman in this year’s top 10 and the highest-seeded still-active athlete.
Williams was most popular among females and millennials, with women ranking her No. 2 all time and those between the ages of 18 and 35 ranking her No. 3. In the tennis category alone, she swept by Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Arthur Ashe and sister Venus Williams en route to that top seed.
Her long list of on-court accolades hardly needs relaying, but we’ll do so anyway: She’s won 21 major championships, completed two “Serena Slams” and in 2015 nearly nabbed the first calendar Grand Slam — a title at each of the four majors tournaments in the same year — since Steffi Graf managed the feat in 1988. She won her first major title in 1999, and 17 years later she’s still going. She’s faced her big sister, the sport’s older icons and her younger, sprier rivals — and she has come out on top, time after time.
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